8 thoughts on “Tragedy of the Commons (in environmental affairs)”

  1. The tragedy of the commons is a collective goods dilemma that is created when common environmental assets (such as the world’s fisheries) are depleted or degraded through the failure of states to cooperate effectively. One solution is to “enclose” the commons (split them into individually owned pieces); international regimes can also be a (partial) solution.

  2. This would be a 3.5/4. Very close. You may want to suggest that why environmental affairs are prone to such tragedy (already implicit in the answer but could be highlighted a little more).

  3. Environmental affairs are prone to such a tragedy because humans act rational, meaning that they see that their share of the cost of wastes they discharge into the commons is less than the cost of purifying his wastes before releasing them.

  4. Close but not there yet. Something simpler. Hint: collective rationality versus individual rationality.

  5. Collectively, fishermen using a fishery will collectively want to limit themselves. Individually, they will probably have the incentive to catch as many fish as possible.

  6. Collectively,countries will want to reduce their greenhouse emissions and deforestation in order to help improve our environment and slow the ozone depletion, but individually, countries want to run their factories as cheaply and often as possible. In addition, they want to use their trees as a resource. If all of the countries cut back on their greenhouse emissions and deforestation then each country would suffer an equal amount and therefore, the consequences to each countries environment would be minimal. If each country only focuses on itself then they might be better off economically, but overall the environment will not improve.

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